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Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Mile In My Shoes

There are a couple of challenges in the blogdom I want to address and participate in so for the next few days I will direct you other places and challenge you to participate.

Here is the 1st...

Sr. Claire Joy @ Flavor of the Month has a challenge and I think it’s wonderful!

“Okay... here's a creative project: pick a character from the Bible— one you don't like, can't forgive, have huge judgments about. Is it Satan? Judas? Amnon? (He would be high on my list.) Write a story that helps explain why this person might have done what they did. It's a little like walking a mile in another's shoes...”

This piqued my interest first because I love to get insight from other ‘seekers’ and I love to discuss these same insights. Okay so the blogdom is probably not the MOST conducive manner to facilitate this…but it’s a start. Secondly, this particular challenge is God-timed because I had been struggling with David and his ‘position’ and really needed to find a way to see David through God’s eyes.

Yes I realize it may seem ludicrous to some people that I could hold anything against David, "a man after God's own heart" but I do. So this challenge comes at a time of redirection in my own life. Enough ado...

What bothers me most about David is his interruption of a sacred marriage for his own desire. David desired Bathsheba but she was married. Bathsheba became pregnant with David's baby. David had Bathsheba's husband, one of his own soldiers (Uriah) killed, then took her as his wife. David is a man after God's own heart? These sentences seem in conflict to me. This begs a look back...

David was a boy when he received a "call" from God...a prophetic message that was both overwhelming and unbelievable to his family. They didn't understand how this young, scrawny, sheep herder could be God's anointed one. They were highly skeptical of this news. How that must have hurt young David, though he didn't show it. I think it must have felt very much like Cinderella and the 'glass slipper fitting'. He probably sat down with the sheep and penned a poem, or a song thanking God and lamenting that his family could be so uncertain of this gift.

What I read is that David took it all stride and thanked God and worshipped God for this incredible news. When David was first called on by King Saul it was to minister to him in music. You see David was an incredible musician. I'm not sure how highly held musicians were during this time but I think about now how my own parents pleaded with my brother not to pursue a 'career' in music (regardless of his gift) because it wasn't a respected career.

David was informed if he slayed "Goliath", he would receive the King's daughter in marriage as reward. It's clear to me that David was a ladies man and would have been the guy that all the girls flocked to. He's young, virile, seemingly fearless, a musician...what more could a young woman want?

Once David slayed Goliath, King Saul took him in and David became family, not only in marriage to the King's daughter, but as a BEST FRIEND to Jonathan, the King's son. David finally found a "Father" who would invest not only his time, but his very life and kingdom. Saul seemed to love David...until the day it went bad...

That was the day David and Saul returned from battle and the women spoke higher of David then the King. King Saul was furious and hated David out of jealousy and pride. David spent the next 14 years hiding and fleeing the King and his 3,000 soldiers. I can't imagine what this must have felt like. Even when David had the opportunity to kill Saul he wouldn't do it out of respect for Saul's position of leadership over him. I'm not sure I could have remained this strong.

Eventually King Saul repented to God when he saw what he had become. He was killed by one of his own...along with his of which was Jonathan. In one full "swoop" David lost his King, his mentor, his father and his brother, his best-friend. Remember David was also a musician, and I know musicians are highly emotional people. I'm sure this loss was HUGE to David. I'm sure his grief was enormous. The loss that led to his ultimate God-anointed position of King, was at a huge cost to David.

And so, as I re-approach the time in David's life when he manipulated Uriah (to the point of death), to have Bathsheba as his wife, I can begin to see how he would make questionable decisions. I can see how there were a number of times when the power David held as King trumped the desire of his heart to please and serve God. I can see he is human. I can see he made mistakes and paid with the life of his first child with Bathsheba. I can see he even paid with Solomon. I can see God's love for David AND God's judgment of David.

I am able to forgive David because I can see that even with the label of "a man after God's own heart", he is still...only a man.

We all have a call on our lives. I pray that we would each seek it with such certainty as David did and that we would learn from those who walked before us...drawing both from the right and the wrong.


Claire Joy said...

What struck me most about David was: when he was actually confronted with the truth regarding his lust/greed/murder he immediately repented and groveled before God... unlike most of the Bible's characters who were too frozen by guilt, too ashamed to admit their own culpability. That must have meant something.

HeyJules said...

KP, that was soooo good! You had the same reaction and the same conclusion I have had about David but you put it into words beautifully!